Scenic and cultural landscapes create symbols of Greater Sydney and connect the contemporary urban environment with natural and historic urban landscapes. Their continued protection is important for their aesthetic, social and economic values and for the character of the region. They create a sense of identity, preserve links to Aboriginal, colonial and migrant era heritage and culture, and create opportunities for tourism and recreation. Views and vistas of ridgelines, waterways and the urban skyline help foster distinctive local character and can strengthen an appreciation of Greater Sydney's landscape. Figure 50 identifies the key landform features of Greater Sydney that contribute to its scenic beauty.
In the Western Parkland City, historic homesteads and significant views are protected through heritage curtilages under State heritage provisions. Other significant scenic landscapes, such as the ridgeline through the Western Sydney Parkland and the Scenic Hills around Campbelltown, are protected through environmental planning instruments.
Views to the escarpment of the Blue Mountains to the west and to the ridgelines of the Western Sydney Parklands to the east can be highlighted by retaining or creating vistas along east-west road links. In the flatter and drier landscape of the Cumberland Plain, creek crossings may become more prominent features emphasising waterways within the landscape.
In the Central River City parklands associated with rivers and creeks, street tree plantings, and the public spaces in centres provide a diversity of scenic landscapes. Colonial era homesteads and their grounds reflect the beginnings of European settlement in Australia and form part of the cultural landscape. In recent years, the development of tall buildings in strategic centres has reinforced the need for quality design to enhance new skylines.
In the Eastern Harbour City enhanced views of Sydney Harbour will come with renewal projects such as The Bays Precinct. Renewal across the Eastern Harbour City can protect and maintain views to the scenic foreshore areas from public spaces and enhance the skylines of the Harbour CBD and strategic centres.
The Metropolitan Rural Area and the Protected Natural Area create a range of attractive visual settings to the north, west and south of Greater Sydney. At a finer grain, areas such as the Mulgoa Valley have been recognised as important scenic and cultural landscapes. With rising demand for biodiversity offsets and continuing support for traditional forms of agriculture within the Metropolitan Rural Area, more opportunities can be realised to protect and enhance natural landscapes.
While consideration of scenic landscapes occurs through a range of mechanisms relevant to heritage, biodiversity and major project delivery, there is a role for councils to consider scenic landscapes as part of growth and change across Greater Sydney.
Objective 12 provides direction for creating great local places, with distinctive, attractive and welldesigned built environments, and Objective 13 sets out approaches for conserving environmental heritage.
Identify and protect scenic and cultural landscapes.
Enhance and protect views of scenic and cultural landscapes from the public realm.